According to police in Nigeria on Wednesday, a teacher and six children were injured after attackers flung a homemade bomb at an Islamic school in a predominantly Christian neighborhood in the city of Sapele.
Charles Muka, a Delta State police spokesman, said the assailants drove pass the school and threw homemade bombs into a classroom Tuesday morning, according to reports from The Associated Press and Reuters.
Muka added that investigators believe a local vigilante group is responsible for the attack.
The bombing occurred while nearly 50 children were preparing for an Arabic class. The injured children were all under 9-years-old and at least one was 4-years-old, Reuters reported.
This is the latest attack of its kind following the Christmas day bombings on five Christian churches across Nigeria by Islamist militant group Boko Haram. The attack killed at least 39 people.
In a statement from the Vatican after the deadly Christmas bombings, the Pope declared, “the hands of the violent be stopped.”
“At this moment, I want to repeat once more forcefully: violence is a path that leads only to pain, destruction and death. Respect, reconciliation and love are the only ways to achieve peace,” Pope Benedict XVI said.
Analysts said the attacks may lead to increased sectarian violence between the Christian south and majority Muslim north, as in past years, AP and Reuters reported.
Northern Christians also fear the Christmas Day attacks will lead to a new religious war in Nigeria, one of Africa's most progressive and heavily populated countries.
Police are also trying to figure out whether a family of four who was killed in a machete attack on Wednesday could be related to the religious attacks.